“Stop Your Political Colouration” - Judge Warns EFCC in Stella Oduah Case


The trial of the former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah, and 8 Others over alleged misappropriation of N2,459,030,000 instituted against them by the EFCC at the Federal High Court, Abuja, took a new turn on Thursday. 

The matter, presided over by Hon. Justice Inyang Ekwo, was suspended on Thursday, 15th June 2023, by the Judge after citing alleged threats to his life by some unknown people.

The Judge took the decision after also citing an alleged invasion of his privacy by yet-to-be-identified persons operating under an alleged organisation 'Anti Corruption Network. '

Miffed by the development, Justice Ekwo informed the public about the relentless nature of these yet-to-be-identified individuals, whom he said had taken the threats notches higher while wondering why they were so desperate to introduce political colorations to the proceedings.

He was firm in his appeal to those threatening his life and privacy while he asked them to desist from trying to influence the matters of the court as their attempts will not change the delivery of due justice.

The presiding judge also directed the Deputy Court Registrar of the Federal High Court to liaise with the Corporate Affairs Commission to identify the person/s behind the organisation, intending to identify them and make them pay accordingly. 

He equally directed the Prosecutor. Mr Offem Uket to investigate and bring the perpetrators to the Court on the next sitting of the Court. 

With copies of the publication where he was threatened, Justice Ekwo distributed the publication among the lawyers in court and warned against such moves as they would not change the course of Justice.

Recall that at the last sitting of the court on the 5th of June 2023, a similar episode played out when the judge noted that some unknown and unscrupulous persons had been invading his privacy by sending various threatening messages to his phone. 

The prosecutor, Dr Hassan Liman SAN, had to rise to the occasion, condemn the actions of the unknown persons, and apologised on their behalf.

Meanwhile, on the last adjourned date, the 7th and 8th Defendants, through their counsel, Chief James Onoja SAN, informed the court that his client's company (NOT SENATOR ODUAH) that was accused of not completing a project awarded, have made full restitution to the Federal Government, by paying the complete sum of money stated in the charge as having been misappropriated, in line with Section 14 of the EFCC Act. He, therefore, demanded that the agency cease disrupting their businesses. 

However, the judge stated today in court that he will not proceed with the hearing of the case until the identities of the persons threatening his life are unravelled and the persons brought to court. 

A similar faceless group had only recently caused to be published on various blogs a petition to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, alleging a plot to perverse the cause of justice in favor of the respondents while calling on Mr. President to wade into the matter.

A quick response by an aide to Senator Stella Oduah, pointing out the mischief and gross ignorance exhibited by the petitioners for not understanding the clear-cut distinction between the various arms of government while stating that the petition was actually attempting to blackmail and demean the person and character of Mr. President, was equally released at the time to buttress his point that the persons behind the petition were desperate political opponents, seeking to pervert the cause of justice by consistently playing to the gallery. 

The case was adjourned to the 17th of July, 2023.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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